Festival House – ‘Tower of Love’
Commercial & Public Access Highly Commended 2013
Project Title: Festival House ‘Tower of Love’
Location: Blackpool, UK
Wood Species and Products Used: Panelised cross-laminated timber, spruce and fir
Building client/owner: Blackpool Council
Architect: dRMM Ltd
Structural Engineer: Michael Hadi Associates
Main Contractor/Builder: Parkinson Building Contractors
Joinery Company: Metsa Wood
Wood Supplier: Metsa Wood
Other services: LDA Design, Michael Popper Associates LLP
The use of cross laminated timber as both structure and internal finish as a deliberate strategy to position the product visibly in the realm of popular culture. Weddings speak to the future; in this wedding venue timber frames this message. Although the modest budget was mostly spent on the BREEAM Excellent construction and the need to keep the marine weather out, the interior is a direct and powerful expression of the building programme and use of wood. This was not a project which could expect a fancy fit-out, rather a building which could present a strong statement and handle different user embellishment over the years to come.
Perhaps the most important quality of the building is the combination of form and content with together create a particular message and experience for the user: Timber is the new concrete.